Planning & Budgeting: Unexpected Costs Of Employment | Get Financial Freedom Tips | Transform Your Financial Future


Friday, February 23, 2018

Planning & Budgeting: Unexpected Costs Of Employment

The idea that having a job can cost you money may sound like a strange one. After all, few people work because they want to-- they work out of necessity, so that they have the money that they need to live. The entire point of a job is to add money to your bank account-- not to subtract from it. 

Yet there is no doubt that holding down a job will indeed cost you money. There are a number of expenses that anyone working a job can expect to sustain, and then there are a few more that are less certain but still plausible. These expenses are something you need to know about, so that you can budget and plan accordingly. 


Below is a look at both the common, and the not-so-common, financial issues that being in a job can cause. By knowing what to look out for, and how to effectively budget and plan as a result, you can be sure that the costs of holding a job are always going to be under control. 

The Everyday Costs 

These are the costs that you need to budget to ensure you can sustain financial control throughout your working life.

Consider the cost of… your work clothes 

Many work environments have a “dress code”. This is not a formal uniform, but you still have to adhere to certain standards of dress-- which can be expensive to maintain. Place an amount in your budget towards work clothes-related expenditures, including the cost of laundry detergent and dry cleaning. 

Consider the cost of… your commute 

If your daily commute costs $5, then this can amount to up to over $1,000 a year. Look at your total salary and subtract $1,000 from it-- this is essentially an expense you are paying just for the right to work. If you’re earning $20,000 per year, you’re essentially working for three weeks for free, because you’re actually out of pocket after the expense of your commute is factored in. 

It’s important to budget for this, and to seek ways to reduce your outgoings. Ride shares, for example, can save you a substantial amount of money. It’s also worth raising the issue at your next performance evaluation; you’re well within your rights to negotiate for a better salary on the grounds of commute costs. 

The Costs Of The Future 

These are costs that you may incur over the course of your professional career, and they require substantial planning to navigate.

Consider the cost of… insolvency 

Insolvency is different from being made redundant; as unpleasant as redundancy is to experience, insolvency is actually the bigger worry. The reason for this is that, if your employer goes into liquidation, all of the terms in your contract become null and void. You will simply join a long list of creditors the company’s liquidators have to negotiate with, and it may take months to see a penny of what you are owed in wages or expenses. This is particularly challenging, because it will render your personal budget -- that you assigned when you were expecting a wage -- null and void also. This means that, due to the sudden and unexpected loss of income, you could sustain a number of financial hits as a result of having been employed, as bills and expenses you thought you’d be able to cover (because you were employed) become due… and you suddenly don’t have a salary.

It is always worth keeping an eye on how your employer is coping financially and if insolvency is a potential risk. Setup a Google Alert -- there’s a great guide for this on if you are unfamiliar with the process -- for your employer’s name, and read anything that it produces. If your employer is struggling financially and insolvency is a risk, you will need to be able to prepare your budget, cut your outgoings, and be ready for your wages to not be paid-- for example, canceling subscriptions or plans, as you can no longer rely on an income the way you previously did.

Consider the cost of… work accidents

While the idea of getting hurt due to a problem at your work may seem unlikely, it is a scenario that many people find themselves having to face; you can see the actual statistics on workplace accidents at No matter what kind of workplace you work in, there is always the possibility that you could injure yourself while on premises-- due to negligence, poor compliance with health and safety laws, or just plain bad luck. 

It is wise to have some idea as to what you would do in this scenario. Read through your employment contract to get some idea as to how such a situation would be dealt with; if there is nothing specific, then there’s no harm in outright asking. If you have to be off sick due to an accident where your employer is at fault, then you have a right to request sick pay to be extended during this period-- but you also need to think about how you will cover your costs if a work accident means you cannot work,.

Furthermore, if you suffer an injury that means you cannot work at all, how will you deal with this financially? Putting money aside into a “rainy day fund” is something few people do, but if you suffer an accident at work and your employer is unreasonable in terms of compensation, then you may find you need to pursue action with the likes of just to get what you’re owed-- and you’re going to need to be able to fund your life as you wait for such an action to progress. Few of us want to think about the possibility of going through such a scenario, but if you ever do suffer a misfortune, you’ll be glad you know what your employer’s stance is and what your options are for securing your financial future in the aftermath.

In conclusion

By focusing on the areas above and seeking to keep the costs low, or adjust your life plans as a result, then you can be certain that you have your finger firmly on the pulse of your work-related finances. As a result of paying the necessary attention to these areas, your budget will be more accurate, and your finances will be in the best shape possible for the future. 

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